EU/EEA/Swiss citizens

If you’re an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen with Settled or Pre-Settled Status, you can work in the UK with no restriction on the number of hours or the type of work.. If you were in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Please check the UK government website for the most up-to-date information about working.

Non-EEA citizens, or EU/EEA/Swiss citizens without Settled/Pre-Settled Status

It’s important to check your visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to see if you’re allowed to work. Many students with Tier 4 or Student Visas are permitted to work for up to 20 hours a week if studying at degree level.

However, if your visa says, ‘No work’ or ‘Employment prohibited’, you are not allowed to work.

If you are a Tier 4 or Student Visa holder with permission to work, you can:

  • work for more than 20 hours per week during term time, and full-time during vacation periods (for Master’s or research-degree students, ‘term time’ includes the Christmas, Easter and summer breaks).
  • work as a performer, but only if the performance has been arranged through the Academy and is an assessed part of the course. The performance must take place before the Final Examination Board has confirmed your result.

You cannot:

  • claim benefits
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
  • work as an entertainer (this includes performing in public concerts and professional performances, but see above)
  • fill a full-time, permanent vacancy
  • be self-employed

See for more details about the work you can and can’t do as a non-EEA international student. These rules apply even if you are not paid or are doing voluntary work.

Short study programmes

If you will be a non-EU student on a study programme of less than six months’ duration and wish to work in the UK, make sure that you enter the UK with a Student Visa, not a visitor visa or short-term study visa, because those forbid you from undertaking any work in the UK.


International students pay the same tax as UK residents. If you earn less than £12,500 in one financial year (2019/20 tax year figures), you will not have to pay any tax.

Any paid work that you do at the Academy will be taxed, but you can claim a refund with the repayment claim form P50. You can find this on the website of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

National Insurance (NI) number

Everyone who works in the UK must pay National Insurance (NI) contributions. You do not need a number before you start working, but when you’ve found a job you must apply for a NI number. More information can be found here.

Working after your course

If you wish to stay in the UK to work when you have finished your course at the Academy, there will be some time before your Tier 4 Visa or Student Visa expires. While the visa is valid, the 20-hour work restriction does not apply, but the other restrictions are still active - for example, you cannot be self-employed, and please be aware that you cannot be an 'entertainer' (that is, you cannot perform) because a performance cannot be counted as part of your Academy course after the Final Examination Board has decided your result.

The Academy has sponsored some graduating students for a Start-Up Visa, and UK Government has introduced a new Graduate Route visa which will be available from 1 July 2021.

You can visit UKCISA for the latest information about UK work visas that are available after you have completed your studies, and also this page of the UK Government website.

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